Cash-strapped, crowded schools eye ways to help all students

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Oct. 14, 2012 10:45 a.m.

    This article highlights a key problem with schools right here in Utah - too many young, inexperienced teachers. The problems range from an inability to maintain order while promoting passion for learning among the students, to simply not being able to teach key concepts and adapt to various student learning styles.

    We moved from back east into some of the best public schools on the Wasatch Front, and were dismayed at the huge drop in education quality that our children experienced. The key problems in my judgement? 1) Too many young, inexperienced teachers, 2) Overcrowded classrooms, and 3) Too low of expectations for student performance and learning by both parents and teachers.

    If Utah wants to prepare its students for the 21st century job market, we are going to have to do better. Right now, most of our high school graduates are not prepared in 3 out of four key college prep subject areas. We are failing for most of our students. It will take real leadership to turn the tide. And it will take getting real and cutting all the spin on the topic of education performance in Utah.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2012 11:24 a.m.

    Re: Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah

    There are retired people among us who will wear coats and turn down their heat so that they can afford to put food on their tables. We are paying enough, more than enough, of our incomes to feed the various governmental bodies that have they hands in our pockets.

    I have no problem giving education more money. Take it out of some other funded program. Which program? How about one of the many programs that provide no benefit to the citizens.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2012 9:58 a.m.


    With all due respect you believe administration can be cut based on what? As I said we already have the lowest administration to student ratio in the country. We have already given massive tax cuts to the people of this state under Governor Huntsman. After all the cuts to education from the last 3 years we are just barely approaching funding levels that we had in 2008 but there are 80,000 more students in the system. Cut cut cut is a great political slogan, but if we value our children and their education we may to ask people to pony up even in difficult economic times.

    really?, makes a good point when he suggests that large families who are putting the most pressure on the system and are typically paying little if anything in state income tax should be expected to pay more.

    I am perfectly aware of the situation we are facing economically, but at the same time there are certain services that need to be paid for, and public safety and education should be at the top of the list.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2012 6:56 a.m.

    Re: Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    "Rifleman, How much more "slashing" do you think can be done."

    I agree with those who think we could cut administrators and give that money to the teachers. The question is how much more can taxpayers slash their budgets? We are heading towards another recession or possibly even a depression. Everybody is going to have to tighten their belts.

  • really? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 10, 2012 1:33 p.m.

    How about asking parents with more than two children to pay a little more in taxes to fund their children's education. Right now, they pay LESS. You read right, less. The Utah tax code mirrors the federal code and parents with more children burdening the system are paying less. For all you "conservatives" out there who love to talk about "personal responsibility", how do you justify that? Each time it has been brought up in the Utah legislature to change it, the republicans shoot it down and call it "anti-family." It isn't. If you can't afford to pay a little more for your additional children's education, then you can't afford additional children.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2012 12:41 p.m.


    How much more "slashing" do you think can be done. We have the lowest per pupil spending in the country, we have the highest class sizes in the country, we have the highest counselor, to pupil ratio in the country, and the highest administrator to student ratio in the country. In the last 10 years we have lowered the taxes as a percentage of income that the taxpayers in Utah pay towards education, while adding over 200,000 more students to the role. We have a much higher percentage of non English speaking students in our schools.

    Sorry but there isn't much left to slash.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2012 10:56 a.m.

    Re: one old man Ogden, UT
    "After all what is more important? Saving money for profits or children?"

    We aren't like California whose multi-billion dollar debt continues to skyrocket. The dirty little secret the liberal don't like to admit is that when you're in debt you have to pay interest on it. That money goes to the greedy banks as the liberals like to refer to them.

    Don't want to throw money down a rathole to the greedy banks don't go into debt. And yes, Utah taxpayers are already paying more than their fair share of their money to local, state and federal governments.

    Slash the number of school administrators and use the money we already give them more wisely.

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    Oct. 10, 2012 10:03 a.m.

    Our school district raises our taxes for a soccer team. We really needed that! There is such a high percentage of students who become professional soccer players vs business men, mechanics, doctors, lawyers and other professions. And when I ask where the money goes from all those candy, pizza, and taco sales nobody can tell me. Too much money is going into luxury activities and not into the classroom. Schools are for education not a play center.

  • sally Kearns, UT
    Oct. 10, 2012 9:50 a.m.

    I would like to read some articles about successful schools, who somehow succeed without begging and whining about understaffed, over crowded classrooms, and overworked teachers. There are charter schools who are succeeding. Could it be the public schools need to change teaching methods to succeed? I know all about how charter schools only take the best children with supportive parents. Who wants to send their children to a school that never seems to figure out how to succeed? It is always about more money. It is begging time. The politicians are out in full force. The legislature meets in January. We can expect to have more articles on the pitiful state of public education.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Oct. 10, 2012 9:46 a.m.


    After all what is more important? Saving money for profits or children?

    In Utah, we all know where our leaders stand on that one.

    Oct. 10, 2012 9:32 a.m.

    Good plan. Let's abandon the kids who are hard to teach. If it's easier, we don't need new teachers; and therefore, we can do it with less money. Good plan.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 10, 2012 9:20 a.m.

    It is imperative that we reduce the huge size of...

    If the real priority is educating kids in smaller classrooms, then make the bureaucrats work harder and skip less important tasks instead of actual teachers. That starts at the State School Board, and runs down to the individual school offices.

    And, let's be realistic and stop wasting huge efforts on trying to "mainstream" the handicapped kids who are (through no fault of their own) unable to keep up with the rest of the classes. Do we want to educate 98% of students to a 90% level, or cap the progress of the vast majority of students while attempting to make minimal gains with a few unfortunates?

    Finally, someone needs to ask the tough question regarding those with English as a second language. Are these kids from legal immigrant families or not? If not, that indicates that our school problems are being made worse by illegal immigration. Although that is not the school's problem to fix, it confirms that those who fail to fix it are condemning every other student to a worse education than can be provided with existing funding levels.

    Bless the good teachers!

  • justired Fillmore, UT
    Oct. 10, 2012 8:25 a.m.

    cancel some ball games, with their bus runs, and the budgets will improve dramatically. heretical idea.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    Oct. 9, 2012 11:47 p.m.

    This article explains exactly why the last thing Utah should do is vote Yes on Amendment 1 this election. We don't need to take money out of the general fund and into a back-up fund for the back-up fund. We need the funds now in education...not in some hypothetical disaster in 2044 as suggested by the amendment's sponsors.